By Hanuka Lohrengel
Becoming a mother can be a long, rough journey. But at one point you will get there.
Some women become mothers when they get pregnant. Others become mothers when seeing the tiny face of their child for the first time.
And then there are those for whom it is a long walk of self doubt and overwhelming adjustments.
Of being so overloaded with the task of catching up with your own development amidst the expectations that crash onto you. And all of a sudden you feel as if you were completely losing yourself on the way.
I was of the latter ones, and the journey to the point I am standing now has been a rough one.
I just wasn’t ready. Neither for the hard physical work of carrying a baby day and night, months and months in a row, nor for the heavy emotional burden of questioning every single reaction of yours. Nothing that I did felt natural to me. Nothing felt right.
And what I was least prepared for was the immense pressure dashing onto me from all sides once I gave birth.
There are those friends hoping you’d stay the way you were and would not “vanish” like some young parents do. There are partners expecting you to continue being the person they fell in love with. There are your own parents presuming you’ll follow their advice. And the most nagging of all are your own expectations, fuelled by peaceful and tidy family shots for magazines and romantic homestead scenes on Instagram.
Besides all of that, I had a job I loved, and was not willing to sacrifice it. Both financially and mentally I had to continue working, just to hold on to the bits that used to feel like me. But doing so while taking care of my son was leaving me drained to the bones.
Quite a lot to take at once, don’t you think?
Women who feel this way often lack safe places to share their emotions. After all, the culture that we live in tries to nurture positivity, growth and success, instead of authenticity and sustainability. But without the opportunity to heal through sharing, it can be very hard finding oneself in the mother role.